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What to know when transferring from a community college to K-State

By Jennifer Newberry

 

Transferring from a community college to Kansas State University doesn't have to be overwhelming. Julie Katz, K-State assistant director of admissions, said knowledge is the key to making the process as smooth as possible.

"I'm a big advocate that a student can deal with anything if they know what's what going into it," Katz said. "The more information you give them, the more information they know and can then make an informed decision."

Katz said about 1,400 transfer students enroll at K-State each year.

When a student first attends a community college, they need to know what four-year institution they plan to transfer to, Katz recommends. Then, the next move is to contact the admissions office of the four-year institution to find out what steps they need to take to get into the school, what classes will transfer and how to apply those classes to a degree program at the four-year institution.

Transfer students also need to know the important deadlines of their four-year institution, including when to apply for admission, pay fees and when to apply for scholarships.

K-State provides many services to aid students planning to transfer from a community college, including recruitment events, a leadership conference for transfer students, sending admissions representatives to visit community colleges, analyzing course work to see how it fits in to a K-State degree program and providing special packets at orientation.

K-State's recruitment event for transfer students is called TIPS — Transfer Information Program for Success. It is held twice a year, in November and in April.

Another recruitment event, new to K-State, is the Phi Theta Kappa leadership conference. Phi Theta Kappa is a national honorary association for transfer students. The conference is for student leaders from 10 Kansas community colleges. At the conference, transfer students participate in leadership activities and are encouraged to become leaders on the K-State campus. Academic scholarships also are awarded.

When Katz visits a community college campus, she sends out reminder postcards two weeks beforehand to inform students interested in K-State about her visit. Two days before, Katz sends out an e-mail reminder.

To help see how a student's credit hours will transfer to K-State, Katz will run a Degree Audit Reporting System report. This is an analysis that shows completed K-State and transfer courses and how that coursework fits into a degree program. The report also shows complete and incomplete degree requirements.

In addition, all transfer students receive a "K-State Cares" packet when on campus for an orientation. The packet includes information on banks, housing, leadership, involvement, Phi Theta Kappa, student services and maps of the campus and Manhattan.

To best prepare for transferring from a community college to K-State, Katz recommends students work with their community college academic adviser. If something doesn't sound right or a student doesn't understand a piece of information, they can always call K-State and clarify, she said.

"Our reputation of being a friendly student institution will shine through in the prospective student process," Katz said. "We're not just talking, we're actually putting meat and potatoes behind what we do.

"We strive to make the transition and transferability as seamless as possible. We're about building bridges of success with community colleges."

Classes to take before transferring to K-State

Students should take many of their general education courses at their community college before transferring to a larger institution like Kansas State University, said Julie Katz, K-State assistant director of admissions.

Katz recommends students take a variety of general courses such as:

English composition 1 and 2
Speech
College algebra
Statistics
Psychology
Sociology
Political science
Up to 6 credits of humanities
3-12 credits of social science
Two life science classes with labs

Helpful hint: The Kansas Board of Regents says only 50 percent of credit hours that count toward a bachelor's degree can be transferred from a two-year institution.

When planning what classes to take at a community college, Katz said the student needs to have already checked with the four-year institution they will attend to verify what classes transfer and their desired curriculum's requirements.

Summer 2005